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ERIC Number: ED558632
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 301
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-6104-6
Scenario Planning: A Phenomenological Examination of Influence on Organizational Learning and Decision-Making in a K-12 Public Education System
Deklotz, Patricia F.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Cardinal Stritch University
Organizations commonly engage in long range planning to direct decisions. Scenario planning, one method of private sector planning, is recognized as useful when organizations are facing uncertainty. Scenario planning engages the organization in a process that produces plausible stories, called scenarios, describing the organization in several significantly different future states. The process activates organizational learning and strategically informs decisions. Recognizing the significant challenges and uncertainty facing public education, there is an urgent opportunity to understand how scenario planning may influence organizational learning in public education systems. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of scenario planning in a specific K-12 public education system and to determine how it may have influenced organizational learning and subsequent decisions. Using the qualitative methodology of an ethnographic phenomenological case study, the research studied a group of individuals who participated in scenario planning as an organizational team six years prior in order to learn more about the influence of scenario planning on the organization. The perceptions and subsequent decisions of individuals involved in scenario planning were examined through the lens of organizational learning, defined as: Systems Thinking, Shared Vision, Personal Mastery, Mental Models, and Team Learning (Senge, 1990). The study included extensive interviews, using a three-question protocol with five primary participants. Each of the primary participants was interviewed on three separate occasions, with a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 72 hours between each interview. The themes were supported through focus group interview conducted with five staff members who were engaged in decisions of the district over the same period of time as the primary participants, but who had not been a participant in the scenario planning exercise. The findings revealed the significant influence scenario planning had on the organization's decisions and direction. Scenario planning served as an activating event that sustained organizational learning. Improved organizational learning resulted in decisions that were summarized into four themes: 1) Invest in people, 2) Expand facilities, 3) Focus on student needs, and 4) Engage in political advocacy. The result of the study suggested expanded use of scenario planning in K-12 public education systems. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A